Guido was pleased to see the venerable Adam Smith Institute as the top trending Twitter topic earlier this morning. Had the Twitterati finally fallen in love with one of Thatcher’s favourite think tanks? Perhaps they had recognised the debt owed to a body that helped push through housing reform, led the attacks on Quangos and pioneered privatisation of public services. Instead the ASI had dared to criticise the licence fee.
Their report has provoked outrage amongst media luvvies for pointing out that the license fee is a regressive tax that criminalises the poor, restricts competition and props up a bloated broadcaster – “a subsidised entertainment firm with some non-commercial obligations”. The wonks provide a consistent, measured attack on an outdated method of funding. The only problem is that it doesn’t go far enough. While the BBC costs the licence fee payer 40p a day, Guido will continue to provide his public service broadcasting for free.